January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts, United StatesDied:
April 17, 1790 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United StatesOccupation:
scientist, inventor, printer, statesman/philosopher
Never married, but took a common-law (considered married) wife named
Deborah Rogers in 1730; children: Francis, William, and Sally (William's
mother was not Deborah Rogers). Education: Formally schooled until the
age of ten.
Benjamin Franklin was a man of many talents. He is best remembered in
the United States as a statesman. A statesman is someone who holds many
Benjamin Franklin was born to Josiah and Abiah Franklin in 1706. Born in
Massachusetts, he moved to Pennsylvania in 1723. His father was a
soapmaker and candlemaker. Franklin left school at age ten to help his
father at work. Soon he learned the printing and publishing business at a
newspaper. He also wrote for the paper. In 1730, he bought his own
magazine, called the Pennsylvania Gazette. Franklin would write for and publish his own magazines and books throughout his life.
Franklin was a scientist. His most famous experiment was one in which he
flew a kite during a thunderstorm. The kite had a metal rod on its top
and a metal key at the bottom of the string tail. When lightning hit the
metal rod, a spark jumped from the key to Franklin's hand. This proved
that lightning was actually static electricity. Franklin also invented
the lightning rod, bifocal glasses, and a glass harmonica.
In addition to his other activities, Franklin was the deputy postmaster
general of the American colonies for 21 years. He was also involved in
politics. Franklin was a major figure of the American Revolution. The
American Revolution was the war fought between the United States and
Britain over the United Stated governing itself. However, he did not
fight on the battlefield. Franklin helped behind the scenes. He was one
of the writers of the Declaration of Independence. This is the document
that guaranteed America freedom and independence from British rule.
"Benjamin Franklin." Kids InfoBits
. Thomson Gale, 2005.
Reproduced in Kids InfoBits. Detroit: Gale, 2011.